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When most of us think of YouTube, we think of music and TV clips. And sure–it’s a great place to find that song that’s been stuck in your head all day or to catch that trending late-night sketch. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google. According to Statista, 2 billion users log into YouTube worldwide each month. So what are they searching for? Much more than pop songs and comedy sketches.
YouTube’s video library is a veritable labyrinth of fun, educational, practical, and even therapeutic content. So next time you feel like you’ve run out of internet distractions, or can’t seem to find what you’re looking for on Google, check out these creative ways to utilize YouTube to kill time, have a few laughs, and maybe even learn something.
Listening to Books on Tape
Reading the plays of Shakespeare from a book, or cracking open a volume of Greek tragedies, is never going to be as rewarding as hearing them aloud. After all, that’s the way they were written to be presented.
Luckily, plenty of the best literature of all time is now in the public domain. And just as luckily, there’s plenty of theatrical, articulate, and just plain goofy YouTube personalities bringing the most celebrated works to life.
Whether you want to finally understand Hamlet, impress someone with your familiarity of romantic poetry, or simply want to kick back and let a good story drift over you, consider heading over to YouTube and finding a video or recording of your favorite literature from days past.
Melting Into Your Chair
Have you heard of autonomous sensory meridian response? Don’t worry. All you need to know is the acronym ASMR, a form of relaxation that’s taken YouTube by storm.
ASMR videos are videos that feature someone whispering, crinkling plastic wrappers, or lightly tapping their fingers to elicit sensations that fans often refer to as tingles, goosebumps, or, according to the New York Times, “brain-gasms.”
These videos span every type of calming trigger you can think of, and are often paired with relaxing role-playing scenarios such as scalp massages. According to the Times, roughly 500 of these brain-tingling videos are uploaded to YouTube every day. So if you need an instant stress-killer, check out YouTube’s ever-expanding selection of ASMR videos.
Ever search for a recipe online? You’re not alone. Whereas we once passed hand-scribbled recipes across the generations, recipes are now one of the most commonly searched-for items online. In a matter of seconds, it’s easy to find thousands of recipes for every type of cuisine imaginable.
But as The Guardian suggests, something gets lost in that anonymous format: “While the internet has allowed “genius” recipes to rise to the surface, it has also enabled the spewing out of useless ones that no cookbook editor would have allowed.”
If you’re lacking recipes from your own grandparents, but sick of wasting time, energy, and ingredients on faceless recipes found online, YouTube is a solid middle ground. There are countless recipes available in YouTube videos, and the video format offers a more personal encounter with the recipe you’re considering making and the people sharing it.
So next time you find yourself typing “Chicken Parmigiana” into a search bar, try YouTube instead. Soon you’ll find chefs with recipes–and personalities–that you can trust. And sure, it may not be grandma showing you how much salt to add–but at least it’s someone.
Never be Bored Again
YouTube is a great place to kill time, but it’s also a great place to be productive. With some creative thinking, you can find videos that will help you discover new hobbies, catch the latest pop-culture news and leaks, learn new languages, and wind down after a long day. YouTube’s a rich and diverse resource with much more to offer than we think, and something to offer for almost anybody. Of course, not everyone can access YouTube as easily as we can. Some people lack access to YouTube content due to copyright laws or government censorship. Luckily, unblocking YouTube with a VPN is a simple way to break down the barriers and access everything the site has to offer.